Word Calculator: Does Spacing Matter?

When you are using a word counter or word calculator, you may have wondered if the amount of spacing you use in your paper or essay matters. Some essays, especially those assigned in college, come with special instructions on how documents should be spaced. These rules have to do with the vertical spacing between lines of text as well as even the horizontal spacing between individual letters.

Few people realize the importance of proper spacing between both letters and lines of words, but what is for certain: Yes, spacing does matter.

While spacing will not impact the number of words a calculator determines you used in your particular paper, it will play a major role in how people read and receive your paper. There are both psychological and physical reasons why more spacing leads to better, easier reading experiences. The psychological reason has to do with people seeing very dense and long bits of text as intimidation. Not everyone wants to give into a book as narrowly spaced as, say, Moby Dick. This very fact can hurt readership. Many amateur writers and professionals alike tend to argue that their own personal preferences and style should be the driving force behind their work. And while in many cases this is true, there is something to be said for giving the audience what it wants. This does not mean that novelists need to sit down and conjure up something based on thinking about “what is popular among consumers.” But it does mean that if and when possible, novelists and other writers should make concessions to their audience if the concessions are not going to hurt the integrity of their work and will improve the readability of their work.

Readability Score

 One of the best things about an online word calculator is that they not only automatically tell you how long your piece is by listing the numbers, but they also give you other valuable information like a readability score.

Knowing how “readable” your work is based on the age-range of suggested readers is an incredibly valuable tool for writers. Some content writers create articles for a younger audience, but they write as if for educated adults. On the contrary, sometimes writers’ “dumb” things down too much and end up looking like they are patronizing their readers. Ideally, you want to find a solution where the work you create is neither too complex nor too simplistic.

Complex Writing

There are certain types of writing that bed for complexity. Most writers, though, make things more complex than they need to be. This is especially true in academia, where one often has to reread whole paragraphs just to discover what exactly the author is referring to. Great should pride themselves on being both concise and artistic in their style. There is no need for extra words, or to over-inflate common language with unnecessary synonyms or adjectives. This practice is often called a “word-salad,” as it refers to overblown or unnecessary language.

This is where an online word calculator comes in handy: By giving you information on the reading level of your material, you can tailor some of your content to better suit the needs of your readers. In some cases, this may mean rereading what you wrote and toning some of the stuff down, and in others, it may simply mean taking more steps to make the material more legible. Like, for example, breaking large word-blocks up into smaller paragraphs.

So yes, word calculators do work. And yes, you should use one on your next or essay. Why? Because online word calculators not only give you an accurate word count, they can also help you improve your grammar, help increase your articles SEO, and just generally help improve your writing.

Alex Hamilton